Run Lola Run
Discuss how visual language is used to illustrate these distinctive ideas in Run Lola Run and one related text of your own choosing.
Visual language is consistently used to illustrate the visually distinctive ideas in both the films Run Lola Run directed by Tom Tykwer and The Butterfly Effect directed by Eric Bress. Both these films explore how perceptions of relationships with others and the world are shaped through the use of various techniques. The two main concepts explored in these movies is the strong them of love and life being a game.
The theme of love is strongly displayed in both Run Lola Run and The Butterfly Effect which is shown through the use of many visual techniques. In Run Lola Run, Tykwer is able to explore Lola and Manni’s love through capturing their passion and love with the use of the red camera tinge. The ominous red becomes a repeating motif throughout the film for Lola and Manni’s relationship. The red tinge is in contrast with the dull city making Lola’s love and passion a main feature of the love story. Tykwer is also able to use the medium POV shot, showing Lola and Manni in each other’s arms possibly just after a moment of romance, this shot also suggests that love lends purpose and strength within our lives. Further uses of techniques to emphasise the importance of love throughout the film are shown through the scattered use of close up’s on both Lola and Manni’s face, provides the insight as to how they bring both comfort and a sense of security to each other. But at the same time the thought of losing one another strikes fear and hurt within the character’s eyes.
Similarly to Run Lola Run, Eric Bress film The Butterfly Effect also strongly display through the use of visual techniques the theme of love and the assumption that love remains central to our existence. It is Evan’s love for Kayley which becomes the catalyst for his attempts to travel through time to alter his past and in a similar way it is Lola’s love for Manni and the importance for preservation of his life that drives Lola through time to save Manni’s life. Like Tom Tykwer, Eric Bress uses similar techniques to express the importance of love in one’s life. Bress uses the similar camera angle of the medium side shot, again showing the comfort and security both characters bring to one another as well as giving the scene context through the use of the bed and no clothes, also implying a moment of romance. The scene also uses the scattered close up shots of both the characters face, just like the scene in Run Lola Run, suggesting the focus on their individual feelings and reactions to the situation.
The theme of life as a game is consistently shown throughout Run Lola Run; Tykwer is able to make the audience feel as if the movie is a game developing this as a central theme. The concept of the film being a game is done through the film structure, as when Lola fails/ looses, she is able to restart and try again, as one would do in a game. She is then able to change the result to one that better suits her and Manni. It is in the scene in which Lola is in the casino which develops the best sense of life being a game as it is possibly both Lola and Manni’s life being determined on the result of the casino game. The great importance of the outcome in the casino is portrayed to the audience through the close up of Lola's face, highlighting her facial expression, engaging the audience through the importance of the situation to Lola. Also by using the casino scene it shows to the audience that Lola's choices were won through a game of chance, and it was this chance that payed off and enabled her to win this game. It is at the start of this scene, where Lola stops and thinks about her previous mistakes, and assesses the situation, allowing her to finally 'beat this level'. This is shown through the camera angle of first the 360, expressing Lola's thoughts becoming out of control, and then the close up of Lola's stare at the casino, where Lola has discovered her answer. It is in this third scenario where Lola is seen to have grown as a person and has not only won the casino game, but won the other games going on in her own life. This idea can be considered as a metaphor for our own lives, about gaining the skills to master the games within our everyday lives.
The concept of life being a game and most importantly the concept of manipulation of time is also shown in The Butterfly Effect where Evan has the ability to travel back in time through his blackouts to his old self and change his past to effectively change his present self and life, this makes the audience question his ability to manipulate time. Likewise Lola discovers she is also able to manipulate time and travel backwards and fix the mistakes she previously made in order to save her lovers life. Just like Evan, Lola plays with time and uses it to her ability. Both Bress and Tykwer use editing to generate this feeling of control of time, using tools such as slow and fast motion to alter the true timing of the situations and gather the character’s control of the situation, mixed with 360 moving camera to create that sense of being out of control, which is very similar to the use of spirals that Tykwer uses in Run Lola Run.